From: Exit Staff
Former U.S. Secretary of State Criticizes Trump Administration for Departing from Long-Held Bipartisan Approach on Kosovo  

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has criticized the Trump administration for departing from the U.S. bipartisan approach toward Kosovo, and for “not helping to resolve” the issue with their current approach. Albright reminded the Trump administration that Kosovo’s journey to the current state which “Vucic and Serbia are trying to undo” came as a result of “a terrible genocidal cleansing”.

Speaking during a video-conference of the U.S. Senate Committee of Foreign Affairs, titled “Briefing on Authoritarianism, Disinformation and Good Governance during COVID-19”, Albright stated:

“I do think that Kosovo was something that we all worked on in a bipartisan way for many years and supported the fact that they could and should be an independent country.

[…]I have never been to a country that has been so visibly grateful to the United States, with hundreds of American flags and people cheering and really wanting to be an independent country and to be able to be a part of the international system.

What has happened, unfortunately, I think that there are questions about boundaries between… and Kosovo was a part of Serbia. But I think that in many ways, I have to say this sadly, that at the moment the United States is not really helping in terms of trying to resolve this issue with Vucic and with the Serbs are trying to undo that [which] came as a result of what had been a terrible genocidal cleansing that the international community condemned […]”

Congressman Eliot Engel, who chairs the Committee of Foreign Affairs, also underlined the bipartisan approach of all U.S. administrations toward Kosovo and Serbia in the recent decades, while pointing out that the current administrations seems to be siding with Serbia. Engel slammed President Vucic for running Serbia “with an iron fist”, for “undermining democracy in Kosovo” and for lobbying with countries to withdraw their recognition of Kosovo.

“The United States seem to side with Mr Vucic and making it odd. We just had an election in Kosovo and the Unisted States now seems to be backing away from the bipartisan commitment that we had in subsequent administrations, starting with Clinton, but then Bush and going on,” Engel stated.

Their statements come amidst growing concerns in Kosovo that President Hashim Thaçi and Serbia’s Aleksandar Vucic might have agreed on a land swap deal between the two countries which could be backed by the U.S. administration.